Football: CAF backs holding World Cup every two years

CAIRO (AFP) – The Confederation of African Football on Friday (Nov 26) gave its support to the “decision of the Fifa Congress to conduct a feasibility study” for a World Cup every two years.

CAF is the first confederation to officially and publicly approve the controversial plan to hold a World Cup every two years, at the same pace as its Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The 54-strong confederation, at its extraordinary general assembly in Cairo, also voted in favour of establishing a Super League for African clubs.

Fifa will hold a summit in December with president Gianni Infantino still hoping to find consensus on plans to stage the men’s tournament more often than the current four-year cycle.

It is an incendiary topic given the various interests at stake, between clubs and national teams, domestic leagues and international competitions.

Opposition has been so widespread from leagues, players and supporters groups that the chances of a biennial World Cup actually happening appear remote.

The World Cup has been played every four years, apart from cancellations during World War II, since the inaugural edition in 1930.

The new biennial proposals were put forward by Arsene Wenger, Fifa’s head of global development.

The World Cup is expanding regardless in another way – the men’s version to 48 teams from 2026 and the women’s to 32 teams from 2023.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe insisted that the biennial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) would be unaffected.

“The main competition for Africa, which is AFCON, will definitely continue,” Motsepe told a press conference.

“Part of the process is to ensure that the players do not play more matches or games than they did historically.

“There will be a fundamental review of the competitions as well as the structure that has existed over many years.”

Motsepe added: “In this review of the competitions in totality there will be a focus on ensuring the competitions of the future are the most exciting, the most popular and the ones that the viewers and the spectators find to be most attractive.”